Arizona these days is the "poster boy" for conservative government trying to stem the tide of creeping liberalism. Why should that be important for our readers who live elsewhere? Because what we do here will probably ultimately decide what kind of country we want to be. This, the first in a series about the "grand battle" to combat oppressive liberalism and reckless spending and why it has consequences for all of the rest of America.
The Budget Wars; Education
As in California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas the education system in Arizona has broken down by the massive illegal Mexican invasion. Let's look at some hard numbers and see if there's a single liberal among you who might begin to understand still another way that illegal immigration is hurting our social safety net and destroying any chance our American kids have of getting an education.
Liberals, and the NEA and Teachers Unions, and sadly, now the liberal courts, just love to denigrate the southwestern states for not providing enough funding to educate our kids. They absolutely love to trot out that 50 state map to show that Connecticutt and Maine, and Massechusetts and New Hampshire and Washington D.C. all kick in more "per student" money than the states in the Southwest, all under siege by court mandates that say we have to educate illegal kids.
And those numbers look horrible on the face of it. But, when you look and think deeper you see that those states in the Northeast, and in D.C., have a tremendous advantage....they aren't overrun with illegal Mexicans.
For example, those Northeastern states spend an average of $14,000 dollars per K-12 pupil while Arizona spends only $8,000 per pupil. Looks bad, right? Puts Arizona in the bottom ten for per student funding. But a funny thing happens when you begin looking at what each state spends in total funding. All of a sudden those Northeastern states fall to the bottom of the pack and Arizona and the Southwestern states begin rising to the top! Why? Because, God Damn It, we're burdened with having to educate millions of illegal kids...and those liberal Northeastern states are not! And there's no one around to pay for those Mexican kids out here in the Southwest!
So let's look at how Education is shaking out in Arizona. Arizona is a relatively poor state, and our budget reflects that. We've got to pay to run all state operations on roughly $10 billion dollars in all forms of revenue; state taxes, fees, property taxes, etc. By far, our largest budget expense is K-12 education; it eats up a third of all the revenue. We must also pay for Medicaid, Welfare, WIC, and all of the other social service programs that our masters in D.C. and in the liberal courts say we must.
And we must pay for our universities which are above and beyond the K-12 budget. And we must maintain our state parks, pay for Fire and Rescue and Police, building maintenance and all the other expenses associated with running the state. And we also have to pay for the English learner program which is another mandate above and beyond all of the other federal and judicial mandates.
Note: Keep in mind that total K-12 expenditures are $15.7 billion dollars, the rest of the money coming from local property taxes and sales taxes and fees and so forth.
Now, Arizona is a Republican state, and our legislature has been under Republican control for decades. But once in a while we do elect a Democratic Governor. (Guess we don't always like a smooth road and want to shake things up a little). Well, the last Democratic Governor was Janet Napolitano. Once she got into office she started pushing for state funded day care, all day kindergarten, and a host of other nice to have programs. She generated just enough liberal pressure so that many of these programs got funded.
So, in 2009, at the same time Napolitano got in bed with Obama and became his Homeland Security Chief, the Arizona economy went to hell with the rest of America. Secretary of State Jan Brewer assumed the office of Governor for the remainder of Napolitano's term and beyond. It was at this time that we had to make massive state cuts in the budget due to a drastic plunge in state revenues. So Arizona sold all of their state owned buildings and leased them back, closed state parks, closed highway rest areas, cut the funding for all day kindergarten and state funded pre-school, and the state was on a "baloney and water" budget for three years.
Through all of this chaos Arizona did NOT cut K-12 school funding. But they did trim the "inflation adjusted increases" that were programmed in.
So here we are in 2014 and Arizona is now facing still another economic slowdown. Arizona was hoping state revenue would return to the traditional 4% of growth and we are barely seeing 2%. So when the next governor takes office next January he will be facing another $500 million dollar deficit and there are no more buildings to sell.
So a month or so ago the ultra liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals out of San Francisco ruled that the state had no right to trim those "inflation adjusted increases to K-12 (though god knows where we would have gotten the money to pay them!). Worse, the court says we must immediately infuse the K-12 budget with $350 million dollars...this year! That puts our new Governor in the position of coming up with nearly a billion dollars to pay for our illegal Mexican kids all the while finding another $500 million dollars in budget cuts! And, if we are to comply with the court mandates on education funding we are supposed to come up with another billion dollars over the next decade to pay for K-12 funding growth as we educate an ever growing percentage of illegal Mexicans.
The only way Arizona can do this is to go the way of California and begin living off of borrowed money...seeing our state credit rating plunge as we float more and more bonds to pay for the illegal invasion.
And we're not getting any relief from the Feds. Hell, every year we've been sending the feds a bill for the costs to incarcerate all of these illegal Mexicans and the Feds won't pay it...even though they claim ownership of the border and immigration!
The only thing we can expect from the feds, and the liberal courts, are more slaps to the face and more demands to educate, medicate and incarcerate millions of illegal Mexicans.
If you don't live in a Southwestern state, enjoy it while you can! As soon as Obama gives amnesty to the rest of the 30 million illegals already here they'll be free to move around wherever they wish...and we'll be anxious to see how YOU deal with the problems they bring!